Enabling a Growing, Unmatched IAMD Capability at Sea

Enabling a Growing, Unmatched IAMD Capability at Sea

April 09, 2024

As threats continue to evolve, Naval Forces require advanced, adaptable capabilities to defeat modern threats. The Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) offers advanced capability with growing capacity to enable Sailors to defend against adversaries.

Lockheed Martin is investing in integrating the combat-proven PAC-3 MSE with the combat-proven Aegis Weapon System to deliver an enhanced IAMD capability to Naval Forces.

Paired with the Aegis Weapon System, PAC-3 MSE further enhances the capability and capacity of Aegis to defeat advanced threats. PAC-3 MSE and Aegis’s advanced capabilities allow for superior performance against highly maneuverable threats designed to counter Navy weapon systems and effectors. PAC-3 production is growing. Currently, the production line is at 550 PAC-3 MSEs per year. Lockheed Martin has advanced funds to further increase capacity to 650 PAC-3 MSEs per year. PAC-3’s growing production line paired with its advanced IAMD capabilities could enable the U.S. Navy to address key capability and capacity gaps – now.

To enable a PAC-3 MSE / Aegis integration, Lockheed Martin has invested in technology modifications for the PAC-3 MSE to ensure compatibility with the MK41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) and the Aegis Weapon System. In June 2023, Lockheed Martin validated PAC-3 MSE’s ability to communicate with the Aegis Weapon System in a communications test between a modified PAC-3 MSE datalink and the SPY-1 Radar, a key component of the Aegis Weapon System. The team modified PAC-3 MSEs dual-band datalink to a tri-band datalink to add the ability to communicate at S-band, the frequency of Aegis.

A live-fire flight test is planned for this year.

Integrating PAC-3 MSE into Aegis’s open architecture enables affordable, rapid integration for maritime engagements and could deliver a dynamic, combat-proven IAMD capability to U.S. Sailors. This integration speaks to how Lockheed Martin is delivering modern, integrated solutions to help our warfighters stay ahead of evolving threats.


PAC-3 MSE is a combat-proven, Hit-to-Kill Interceptor designed to counter incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, advanced threats, and aircraft. PAC-3 MSE’s unique Hit-to-Kill technology defends against threats by using direct body-to-body contact that delivers exponentially more kinetic energy on the target than can be achieved with blast-fragmentation mechanisms.

Aegis Weapon System

The Aegis Weapon System is the U.S. Navy’s and six International Allies’ Surface Combat System. It is the most mature, capable, and deployed multi-mission combat system in the world. Aegis integrates a broad range of sensors and weapons to provide simultaneous integrated air and missile defense, also known as Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability.

Aegis has 50 years of proven capability and is adaptable to keep pace with evolving IAMD threats by rapidly integrating advanced capabilities and system updates through advanced software development processes, microservices and containerization.

By integrating PAC-3 MSE, it further advances the capability and capacity of the Aegis Combat System to defeat more complex threats. The addition of PAC-3 MSE missile capability into the Aegis Combat System gives the system and warfighter more defense capability layers and increased flexibility from a missile inventory standpoint.

MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS)

To fully integrate into the Aegis Weapon System, Lockheed Martin is investing in PAC-3 MSE’s integration with the legacy MK41 VLS to offer an affordable solution for PAC-3 MSE employment on maritime platforms. With more than 4,300 successful missile firings, the MK41 VLS is a combat-proven launcher that eliminates problems associated with conventional and single-purpose launchers on surface ships. Installed below deck, MK 41 VLS provides unparalleled operational availability, survivability and versatility with minimal staffing, training and maintenance requirements.